LeBron James says he has not committed to play for the United States at the Olympics. A message Saturday on the Twitter account of longtime NBA writer Peter Vecsey said James and Carmelo Anthony had accepted Olympic invites. James spoke at Cleveland’s shootaround Sunday before a playoff game at Detroit. When asked if he has committed to the Rio Games, he said: “I have not.”
The U.S. Olympic men's basketball team will play in Houston on its way to Rio. No formal announcement has been made yet but the USA Basketball website lists an Aug. 1 game vs. Nigeria with a link to buy tickets on the Toyota Center website. An NBA official said this week an official announcement on the game is expected soon. All the U.S. Olympic teams are stopping in Houston on the way to Rio. The U.S. Olympic Committee's team processing setup will be in Houston. Athletes will get uniforms, credentials, etc. before heading to Brazil.
Peter Vecsey: FYI: not that it's any surprise, but I'm told LeBron & Melo have accepted invites to play in their 4th Olympics...
Chris Bosh on Kobe Bryant: We went to the village to hang out a few times while the Olympic Games were going on, and I remember everybody walking through the arcade that they’d set up for the athletes. There were a bunch of games, but in particular, they had those mini pop-a-shot basketball games that you can find in just about every arcade in the world. Kobe and Michael Redd started playing, and things got competitive. After a few games, I got tired of watching, so I left to meet up with some friends. I had to have been gone for a couple of hours. When it was almost time to head back to the hotel, I stopped by the arcade again and those guys were still playing! Both of them were in a full sweat with a focus like it was a real game. That was pretty funny to me because I’d always heard about how competitive Kobe was and in that moment, I got to witness it for myself.
J. Michael Falgoust: John Wall says he's going to do his best to play for #USABasketball this summer. Has to have his knee evaluated first #WizardsTalk @CSNWizards
Because rival teams protested about the potential for conflicts and player tampering after Jerry Colangelo partnered his duties as chairman of the Philadelphia 76ers and managing director of USA Basketball, the NBA restricted Colangelo’s reach in an apparent attempt to limit his access and influence over star players, league sources told The Vertical. Among rival executives, there was concern that Colangelo’s powerful pathways and year-round lines of communication to elite American players could be leveraged into a free-agent advantage for the 76ers.
Within weeks of Colangelo’s hiring as 76ers chairman of basketball operations in December, the league office informed the NBA Board of Governors of new limitations on Colangelo’s ability to communicate directly to players outside of USA Basketball activities and how much formal impact he can have in the final voting process for national team and Olympic rosters, league sources said.
After the hiring of Colangelo’s son, Bryan, a two-time NBA executive of the year, as the 76ers president of basketball operations on Sunday, Jerry Colangelo relinquished his title of chairman of basketball operations for the 76ers. He will keep a title of special adviser to Philadelphia ownership, and league sources said the new guidelines will continue to apply to Jerry Colangelo as long as he has a working agreement with Philadelphia.
The specific guidelines that apply to Colangelo: While he still is part of the group that selects the Team USA roster and Olympic player pool, he is no longer allowed to vote for the final national team and Olympic rosters as a member of the USA Basketball board of directors, and he must make opposing general managers aware of any contact with their players or their players’ agents, league sources told The Vertical.
Power forward Kevin Love has informed cleveland.com that if selected, he'll accept the invitation to play for USA Basketball and compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this summer. "If they pick me, I'll play," he said.
Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley will not withdraw his name from consideration for Team USA even though he's out for the season with an Achilles injury, a league source told cleveland.com.
“I just spoke to you guys yesterday,” Anthony grumbled Tuesday. “You got anything new?” In this instance, there was something different and topical: the Olympics. So Anthony perked up at the chance to discuss winning for a change. “From a morale standpoint as a player, if you’ve been through the things I’ve been through the past couple of years you want to feel what that success feels like. You want that success,” he said. “So the Olympics for me is great timing.”
Chris Paul announced Tuesday that he’s withdrawing from the Olympics this summer because his body requires rest. It threw cold water on Anthony’s dream of capturing a third gold medal with ‘Super Friends’ Paul and LeBron James, but it didn’t sap the 31-year-old’s enthusiasm for Brazil. “That doesn’t affect my decision either way,” Anthony said.
After more than a decade of contribution to USA Basketball, Paul told SI.com on Monday that he is withdrawing from consideration for this summer’s Olympic team, likely ending his international career. “I feel my body telling me that I could use the time,” he said. Few NBA players have expended more this season than Paul. Although his traditional stats do not vary much from his career norms—19.9 points and 9.8 assists in 33.2 minutes—he has piggybacked the Clippers in Blake Griffin’s absence.
Paul, the best point guard of his generation, has a hard time recalling a summer when he was not either injured, recovering from injury, or playing for Team USA. The Olympics are synonymous with other touchstones in his life. His wife, Jada, became pregnant with their son, Chris Jr., right after the ’08 Olympics and gave birth to their daughter, Camryn, right after the ’12 Games. “Just a few days ago, Little Chris asked me, ‘Daddy, will you play in the Olympics again?’” Paul said. “Part of me wanted to say yes, because he’s never been part of it. But I told him, ‘I want to spend more time with you.’” Paul, a fixture at his son’s Little League complex and basketball gym even during the NBA season, opted to stay home.
While players like LeBron James and Paul George have not publicly committed to playing in the Olympics, Colangelo said he’s not concerned. Players who wanted to be part of the selected process were required to be at camp in Las Vegas last summer, and all 34 showed. “That was a pretty good sign that everyone wanted to at least keep their options open,” he said. “The beauty of having a roster as deep as we do – people basically are saying, how are you going to pick 12? How could you leave off certain people? Well, some of that takes care of itself. We’re not looking for commitments, and quite honestly if there were a few who decided not to participate it makes my job a lot easier.”
Asked how close he is to knowing the 12-man roster already, Colangelo said: "I play that game in my own mind almost every day. And it changes every other day in my mind. We've got so many great players and they all want to participate. We may be in for a surprise or two at the end of the day, where someone is not going to make themselves available, but because of the depth on this roster, we could take a few hits and still be in great shape."
"So I'm just keeping all my options open. And I'm interested always to hear other people's opinions, but you can trust me: I'll make the final decision based on what I think is right for us in conjunction with Coach K and our staff ... what's the best 12 to put us in the best position to be successful? And I'll go right back to something we said many years ago. It's not an All-Star team. It's: 'Let's put a group together that puts us in this best position to win.'"
Colangelo, chairman of USA Basketball, said he is confident Mike Krzyzewski will coach the Americans in Rio. “He should be OK. We’re told that it’s going to be a non-issue. We didn’t know the exact status, but that’s the latest status for sure,” he said at the U.S. Olympic Committee's media summit Wednesday. “He’s committed. He doesn’t feel he has any issue whatsoever. He’ll get through the surgery and he’ll be fine.”
As for Krzyzewski, who is making his coaching farewell with the national team in Rio before ceding the position to San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and moving into an advisory role for the 2019 World Cup in China and 2020 Tokyo Games, Colangelo said: "Coach K is going to be my assistant in all that we do, so he stays involved."
As with 2004 in Athens, Team USA plans to house its players in Brazil from both the men's and women's basketball teams on a cruise ship docked in Rio to ensure maximum security. "We have sent our people [to Rio] on four or five occasions," Colangelo said. "We have researched everything we could on accommodations. And we made our decision as to what we're going to do. Bear in mind that, since '92, [USAB's] basketball teams haven't stayed in the Olympic Village. Also bear in mind that basketball is one of only two sports that runs the entire length of the Olympic [Games]."
"Because of the high visibility of our athletes, we're better served by [going] above and beyond what the Olympic people provide for us in the way of security and so forth. We do our own things to make sure we've protected our people. There's a big investment here that we'll have in Rio. ... We will not be in the Village, but our players will be in there a lot, like they have been in the last two Olympics."
Colangelo told ESPN that, to this point, he hasn't "heard one question from any of our players" raising concerns about the Zika virus or the widely reported water issues in the host country that have received increasing media coverage in recent months. "First of all, we feel very confident that we're being taken care of, in the sense that the different organizations who are dealing with this health issue or problem are doing everything they possibly can," Colangelo said.
Carmelo Anthony has visions of winning an unprecedented third Olympic gold medal this summer in Brazil, and isn’t concerned that his knee will prevent him from playing. Anthony, who has experienced soreness in his surgically repaired left knee this season, believes he will be fine and will be able to commit to playing in a record fourth Olympics for the men’s national team. “I want to go,” Anthony said. “I look forward to being a part of that. Not too many people can say they played in four Olympics and have a chance to win three gold medals. Not too many people can say that. To me that’s the way I look at it and the way I approach the Olympics.”
Colangelo said he has "not really" had conversations with Krzyzewski about possibly stepping aside before the Olympics and that "We're not at that stage at all. I do know that his intention is the day after his Duke season is over is to have his knee replaced. It's killing him right now. But that's just one facet of his health circumstances. We'll cross that bridge. Certainly in the back of my mind I'm thinking about what ifs. But it would be, I think, inappropriate and out of place to even discuss it."
Pressed if he has a plan in mind if Krzyzewski cannot coach in Rio, Colangelo said: "I think so. But, again, I think it's too early to get into that. As we get closer and it appears that there's a prospect that he may not be able to or chooses not to, that's a whole different story. But let's not be premature on that."
Lillard was initially left off the 30 player pool after being soured on the experience before but was added as player 31 on Wednesday. The path back to Team USA began with an impromptu visit from Men’s National Team Director Sean Ford. During the Blazers recent home stand, Lillard met with Ford, who carried with him a message. “He just said they wanted me to be a part of it still,” Lillard said before Wednesday’s game against Houston. “I chose to remove myself from it and they respected that. I knew down the line I still wanted to be a part of it.”
“Going into it I won’t have that on my mind and on my heart,” Lillard said of the bad feelings. “I’ll go into it with good intensions and I’ll go into it with the right things on my mind. Like I said I’m just happy I’ll have an opportunity going forward.” Lillard admits that going to Rio is probably a long shot, citing the many players who’ve put in more time with the USA Basketball program. “It would be great to be there this year,” Lillard said. “There’s a lot of guys that have spent a lot more time with Team USA than I have so we’ll see.”
Jeff Zillgitt: Blazers guard Damian Lillard has been added to the list of finalists for the 2016 U.S. Olympic team.
Brian Mahoney: Damian Lillard added to USA Basketball roster pool. Gives Americans 31 players for 12 spots in Rio.
Jeff Zillgitt: USA Basketball's Jerry Colangelo received a call from Lillard; Lillard expressed interest in playing this summer, staying invovled in future
Cousins and Kings forward Rudy Gay were among the 30 finalists announced by USA Basketball for its 2016 Olympic roster. The list will be condensed to a 12-man roster that will compete at the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro in August. “It’s always an honor to play for the USA teams; it’s not a chance everybody gets,” Cousins said. “Hopefully I’ll make the team and I’m in Rio this summer.”
“It’s good to still be in the running,” Gay said after practice Monday. “There’s a lot of great players that aren’t on that list. It’s just good to be noticed.”
USA Basketball announced this week that the Jazz small forward is among 30 American players who have made the cut to be considered for the Rio Games in Brazil this summer. "It’s been a goal of mine and something I've been working towards and putting in the time, going in the summers," Hayward said. "(They) still have to get it down to 12, but it’s definitely good to be one of the finalists."
And while Lillard said the news of his exclusion was expected, Plumlee admitted he was a bit surprised he didn't earn an invitation to try out. The Blazers' starting center has played for Team USA each of the last two summers, competing on the 12-man group that won the gold medal at the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain and earning an invite to the 2015 USA Basketball Men's National Team minicamp.
"Any time I go into a situation I want to have a real opportunity," he said. "If I'm going to invest myself in something, I want to have a real opportunity in that. Last time I did that, I felt the decision was already made before the decision was made. Whether I played good or bad, I felt like it didn't matter."
He said he carries no hard feelings toward USA Basketball and would not rule out another chance to compete for Team USA in the future. But for the time being, he's simply going to be a fan.
The All-Star point guard doesn't expect to make the cut. "It's an honor, a humbling experience to be invited as one of the 30 people to be there," said Wall, who at first gave a blank stare and rolled his eyes at the question. "A good opportunity to represent your country. Nothing is more important than that. You put everything aside, your name and (the NBA team) you play for. You're playing for your whole country."
LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were included in the 30 finalists for the 2016 U.S. men’s Olympic team, although James remains unsure of whether or not he’ll chase a third gold medal in Rio. “I’m not any inch closer to playing or not any inch closer to not playing. I haven’t really thought about it much.”
The length of his NBA season and how he feels after it will impact his decision, James said, although he called it “ridiculous” to believe the Cavs will automatically play into June. Asked about the importance of a victory over the Warriors on Monday in anticipation of a June reunion, James laughed. “We only want to focus on today and for us to have any sense of entitlement about June is absurd to me,” he said. “As far as what the future holds, we don’t know.”
Bryant made the announcement in Salt Lake City before the Lakers' game against the Utah Jazz. He has informed USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo and Olympic coach Mike Krzyzewski, saying it's time for others to enjoy the Olympic journey. "Since my retirement announcement, I'm able to watch these guys in a different light," said Bryant, a gold medalist in 2008 and 2012. "I've come to terms with the fact that they are the future of this game. These are the guys who deserve the spots in Rio. These are the guys who people need to watch and root for. These are the guys to show fans where this game is going in the future."
Jody Genessy: Kobe Bryant will not pursue a spot on the 2016 Olympics team. "I think it's the young guys' turn to go. ... I've had my moment."
Mike Trudell: Kobe said he wants his final game to be in Lakers purple and gold, which will be against Utah at Staples Center in April, not for Team USA.
Brian Seltzer: Gregg Popovich said that Jerry Colangelo is a can-do guy. He was the only person he talked to re: USA Basketball. https://t.co/JZFDvw7Unv
Colangelo on Bryant’s interest … “When I was approached originally about Kobe’s interest in potentially playing in the Olympics — this goes back early last summer, I guess, or spring — and the concept being that it would be great to end a career, win a gold medal and ride off into the sunset. That was just thrown my way by his agent, Rob Pelinka. I just took it in and I said, ‘Rob, I don’t rule anyone out, but it has got to be based on performance because there’s so many people who want (to be on the team) — everyone wants to be on the roster.’ So he says, ‘Well, absolutely, and that’s how Kobe feels. He wants to earn it.’ Well then a month later, the two of us were in New York at an NBA function, and Kobe and I had a chance to visit, and we talked about the same thing. He reiterated his interest, but also the fact that he didn’t want any gifts, that he wanted to — if he wasn’t capable of earning it, by his performance, then that was that.
“So just recently, with his announcement of retirement, some people have come back to me (on the topic). Nothing has changed for me. Again, the same criteria exists, which is (a player’s performance) this season. So we’ll just look at this season. And I know where he has struggled, and it’s not the same…but there are some people having really outstanding years.”
Colangelo on sacrificing a spot for Bryant based largely on the sentimental component and the fact that a) the 12th man won’t play much and b) Team USA will be heavily favored to win gold regardless of who fills that spot … “Let’s just put it this way: on one hand, you have what you just proposed. On the other hand, if someone is left off the team, like Kawhi Leonard or Paul George — and I’m just using names — for that purpose, then you have to weigh that fairness, to some degree. That’s all. So it’s not an easy call, and it’s one that I don’t have to make for quite some time. And I’m going to stick to that. I’ve got plenty of time. With out further ado ...
As covered recently in this space, Bryant says he doesn’t have any plans to satiate his fans abroad by playing a season in Italy or China when he’s done with the NBA. But playing in the Olympics could serve as that farewell to the international basketball public, which Bryant addressed in a Friday morning visit on ESPN Radio with Mike and Mike, saying: “Obviously I grew up overseas and have seen basketball grow globally. It’s come so far, so fast. (I) would love nothing more to be in an international environment and be around so many other great athletes one more time. That being said, it’s not something I’m obsessing over, either, because I’ve got to listen to my body, too. If my body can’t do it, there’s no sense in doing it. So God willing, hopefully, if they feel I can make a significant contribution and my body is up for it ... if that’s the case then I would love to play.”
Bryant remains in contention for a spot on Team USA's 12-man roster for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo told ESPN's Marc Stein. Colangelo said Bryant's announcement "doesn't have any bearing" on the star guard's status for the Rio Games. "We have this whole season to look at all of our players," Colangelo said Sunday. Even before he publicly confirmed this season will be his last, Bryant said earlier this month that playing in Rio, which would give him an opportunity to win a third gold medal after triumphs in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012, has great appeal to him. "It would mean the world to me to be around those guys," Bryant told the Associated Press earlier this month.
Andy Larsen: Derrick Favors told us that the USA Basketball snub from this summer still drives him to work on his game, "go against certain guys". Also, Favors told us that that was his first win in Atlanta, which surprised me. Jazz had lost 4 straight there until Sunday.
Bryant said Monday that he still wants to be part of the team that USA Basketball will send to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, a tournament that theoretically could mark the end of his competitive basketball career if he retires at the conclusion of this NBA season. Bryant helped the U.S. win gold at the 2008 Beijing Games and 2012 London Games. "It would mean the world to me to be around those guys," Bryant said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I think to be able to have a chance to continue the relationship that I already have with most of those guys, talking and just kind of being around each other and understanding that this is it, it's just us being together, that would be fun."
"I would like to play," Bryant said. "I think it'd be awesome. A beautiful experience. I'm a global kid. I grew up in Italy, I know a lot of athletes from different parts of the world, from different sports. It'd be great to play in that environment."
Sean Grande: I asked Brad Stevens if he'd be a part of Greg Popovich's Olympic staff... "There's no question I'd do that. But I don't want to give the impression that I'm going to ask him or talk to him about it. Those situations it's more important to be comfortable with your staff. So If he's more comfortable with his own staff, that's who he should go with. You don't have time to teach the coaches too in those scenarios."
San Antonio Spurs coach Greg Popovich was announced on Friday as head coach of the U.S. Men's National Team for 2017-2020. During practice on Sunday, Van Gundy was asked about it, and whether he would accept an assistant coaching role should Popovich ask him. "I think anyone would," Van Gundy said. "No. 1 to work for him, and to No. 2 do anything for your country. So yeah, but I don't expect it. There are other people who have been in the national program, are great coaches and should get those assignments. But I was really happy it was an NBA coach and I was really happy that it was Pop." He said Duke coach Mike Kryzewski, whose tenure as coach of the U.S. team ends following the 2016 Olympics in Rio, has done "a hell of a job."
Mark Woods: No confirmation from Pop on how - or if - he will coach USA during NBA season. Still would suggest possibility he see Spurs ending.
Just over a year ago in Chicago, Gregg Popovich raised the question with commissioner Adam Silver at the annual NBA coaches meeting: How did the USA Basketball national coaching job turn into a lifetime appointment for a college coach? "Isn't an NBA coach good enough to coach NBA players?" is one of the queries to Silver that peers in the room remembered Pop asking of the commissioner. Pop offered several candidates, including Doc Rivers, as deserving of a chance to coach the Olympic team. All around Pop, NBA head coaches nodded with agreement. Popovich never offered his own name, though. Popovich had once wanted the job, but would never campaign now – and truthfully never thought it possible as long as Jerry Colangelo was running USA Basketball. Popovich and Colangelo had a nine-year cold war that started to thaw with a telephone call in March, league sources told Yahoo Sports on Friday.
Months of consideration ensued for Popovich, including a full day of face-to-face conversations between Colangelo and him in July, league sources said. Through the years, so much had happened to push them far apart. They had been part of a nasty Suns-Spurs rivalry, and Colangelo's longstanding, close partnership with David Stern had done little to ease Popovich's suspicions about him.
In an interview with me in 2005, Colangelo said, Popovich "had a bad taste in his mouth regarding his most recent experiences with USA Basketball, some bitterness, and that came out in my conversation with him. He seemed burned out by it. … He just wasn't as enthusiastic as Mike." Those comments to Yahoo Sports – along with other public statements – moved Popovich to write a letter to Colangelo that was carbon copied to several top officials in the league office, league sources told Yahoo Sports. In the letter, Popovich essentially told Colangelo: Don't you dare suggest that I had anything but a deep desire to be the USA's national coach. Mostly, Pop told him: Just stop talking about me.
Now, Popovich will take over the USA National program in 2017 and players will love the idea of performing for him. Krzyzewski will finish his third tour as the national coach in 2016, and stay on as a "special adviser," which loosely translated means this: Krzyzewski will still have the access and influence to use USA Basketball's junior national teams to leverage his Duke recruiting. High school players committing to Duke understand they have a preferred path to making those under-18 and -19 rosters competing in international tournaments.
Marc Stein: Fascinating questions remain, tho, because the whole qualifying structure for international play, remember, soon changes to soccer's format. Qualifying for the 2019 World Cup in China will happen DURING the NBA season. Pop & NBA players won't be leaving their teams for qualifying
Arash Markazi: Jerry Colangelo will continue through 2020 as USA's Managing Director with Mike Krzyzewski serving in a Special Advisory Role through 2020.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Gregg Popovich will replace Mike Krzyzewski as the USA National coach in 2017, USA Basketball says.
USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo says the next head coach of USA Basketball is likely to come from the NBA. In an interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio, Colangelo said that the “odds are that it will be a professional coach.”
The University of Kentucky coach is not only actively involved with Colangelo's beloved Basketball Hall of Fame, but also has gone out of his way to raise money for it. Of course, Calipari has complained on occasion about Krzyzewski having an unfair recruiting advantage as the USAB head coach, but one person familiar with Calipari's motives said he views the opportunity as "the recruiting tool of all recruiting tools." Another source, who is plugged into the USA Basketball program, said "Calipari wants it bad."
Who replaces Krzyzewski as the on-court conductor and how much longer Colangelo, 75, will stay on as managing director, are important issues for both USA Basketball and the NBA (which, essentially, are one in the same). According to several people with close ties to the program and the coaching industry, here are some logical successors to Coach K: Gregg Popovich: The Spurs' five-time champion coach is "clearly, unquestionably the No. 1 choice," according to a person involved in the coaching business. "There really is no second place." Not only is he the most accomplished and respected current NBA coach, but Pop also checks several other boxes that Krzyzewski and Colangelo will no doubt consider in identifying possible successors. (Yes, both men will have most, if not all the say in who gets this gig.)
September 25, 2021 | 4:02 pm EDT Update
NBA Central: Brian Windhorst says Ben Simmons playing in front of Sixers fans is a ‘factor’ in him wanting out of Philadelphia “He doesn’t want to be in front of those fans. …I don’t think he intends to ever show his face there again.” (Via @Sirius XM NBA ) pic.twitter.com/Ltt0ccwARf
Here’s the deal … Jeffrey was at Casa Amigos bar in Scottsdale when he “fell and hit his head,” according to police. They say Jordan then became combative with security who were attempting to escort him out of the bar to receive medical attention. Scottsdale PD, who were in the area for an unrelated call, were summoned to assist. Cops interviewed bar staff, and eventually deemed the incident “medical in nature,” not criminal. An ambulance was called to transport JJ to a hospital.
After arriving at a local hospital, that’s when things allegedly took a turn. Jeffrey is accused of assaulting hospital staff while being treated for the injury he sustained at the bar. A report for aggravated assault, a felony, was taken at the hospital.
As for Jeffrey’s side, our sources tell us he was confused and disoriented following the fall. Jordan was NOT arrested or charged with a crime. As of this morning, he still remains in the hospital. Police tell us the relevant reports will be sent to the Maricopa County Prosecutors Office … where they will review the case and determine if charges are warranted.